The Royal Acquaintances Memi and Sabu, Limestone, paint

The Royal Acquaintances Memi and Sabu

Period:
Old Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 4
Date:
ca. 2575–2465 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt; Probably from Memphite Region, Giza, Western Cemetery
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
H. 62 cm (24.7/16 in.); W. 24.5 cm (9 5/8 in.); D. 15.2 cm (6 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1948
Accession Number:
48.111
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
This statue evokes the intimacy of Memi and his companion, Sabu, although she is set somewhat apart by her oblique gaze.

Until recently, the flowering of nonroyal statuary was believed to have occurred only in the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. Recent studies indicate, however, that many of these nonroyal statues, including Memi and Sabu, are better dated to the Fourth Dynasty, contemporary with the great royal statuary programs. The early date for Memi and Sabu is based both on her coiffure and on the reciprocated embrace.
rx nswt Mmj sAb.w
Royal Acquaintances Memi (and) Sabu
Purchased by the Museum from Louis Stern, 1948. Previously in the possession of Maguid Sameda.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 110.

Hibbard, Howard 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 36, fig. 56.

Dorman, Peter F., Prudence Harper, and Holly Pittman 1987. Egypt and the Ancient Near East in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 20-21.